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Lawmakers react to Wisconsin legislature's legal filing to stop Gov. Evers' 'Safer at Home' order

Posted at 9:44 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 23:17:09-04

The Wisconsin legislature has sued to stop the Evers administration's "Safer at Home" order extension.

In a 70-page document filed Tuesday, the Emergency Motion for Temporary Injunction lays out what the Republican-led legislature says is an abuse of power from the Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm. The governor's extension of his original order is based on DHS statutes.

Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said in a statement released Tuesday: "The public outcry over the Safer at Home order continues to increase as positive COVID cases decrease or remain flat. There's immense frustration regarding the extension, as it goes beyond the executive branch's statutory powers."

Governor Tony Evers held a conference call with reporters after he had a chance to read the order. Evers said, "legislative republicans frankly have said to the people of Wisconsin, our political power is more important than your health."

Evers called the filing a "power grab" and criticized its lack of empathy for front line workers.

"I've frankly read some horrible things in this state, but this lawsuit is something else. Not a single mention of saving lives not a single mention of protecting our first responders our nurses our doctors, our critical workers. Nothing," said Evers.

The Supreme Court has not decided if it will hear the case but has set a deadline for Tuesday, April 28th, for a response from the Evers administration. Wisconsin's "Safer at Home' orders initially set to expire on April 24th, but Evers extended it because health officials said the order was reducing cases and, in turn, saving lives.

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